Legislature(2011 - 2012)BUTROVICH 205

02/15/2011 09:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ SB 61 2011 REVISOR'S BILL TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= SB 26 FEE/TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN VEHICLES
Heard & Held
= SCR 2 UNIFORM RULES: PRESIDING OFFICER PRO TEM
Moved CSSCR 2(STA) Out of Committee
                   SB  61-2011 REVISOR'S BILL                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:13:38 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI reconvened the  meeting and announced the next                                                               
order of business would be SB 61.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
KATHERINE KURTZ,  Assistant Revisor of Statutes,  Legal Services,                                                               
Legislative Affairs  Agency, said the Legislative  Legal Services                                                               
Agency  prepares a  revisor's  bill almost  every  year. This  is                                                               
directed  by statute.  Under  AS 01.05.036,  the  purpose of  the                                                               
revisor's bill is to correct  or remove deficiencies and obsolete                                                               
provisions from the  statutes. It is a clean-up  bill. They don't                                                               
fix  every  problem, because  they  are  policy-neutral, so  they                                                               
steer clear of  policy decisions. The revisor's  bill covers many                                                               
subject areas,  and is a  constitutional exception to  the single                                                               
subject rule.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ  said she would  group the changes into  broader areas.                                                               
The   biggest   single   change   this  year   relates   to   the                                                               
administrative  director of  the  Alaska  Court System,  formerly                                                               
known as the administrative director  of courts. This position is                                                               
established by  the constitution,  but the constitution  does not                                                               
establish a  title. At some  point, the court system  changed its                                                               
usage to administrative  director of the Alaska  Court System. In                                                               
recent  years this  title has  been used  in statutes,  but there                                                               
remain a  number of  statutes that  refer to  the "administrative                                                               
director of  courts." SB  61 cleans up  all those  references and                                                               
makes  the title  uniform throughout  the  statutes. That  change                                                               
covers 20 sections of SB 61.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ  explained that  another change  relates to  the United                                                               
States Soil Conservation  Service, which has changed  its name to                                                               
the United  States Department of Agriculture  & Natural Resources                                                               
Conservation Service.  When government departments  change names,                                                               
the  revisor's  bill  tries  to   keep  up  with  those  changes.                                                               
Revisions in federal statutes may  also change statute references                                                               
in  Alaska statutes.  For instance,  Sheldon  Jackson College  no                                                               
longer functions  as a  college, so SB  61 removes  references to                                                               
Sheldon  Jackson  College  in   Alaska  statutes.  Obsolete  date                                                               
references are also removed.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  asked  about the  definition  of  vulnerable                                                               
adult referred to on page 2, lines 6 -7.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ replied that this was missed when the switch occurred.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked if this is a substantive change.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KURTZ   responded  that   it  has   to  do   with  reporting                                                               
requirements.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI stated the current  law says "report incidents                                                               
of harm  suffered by an elderly  person or a disabled  adult." It                                                               
would seem that the change limits the definition.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KURTZ  answered that  the  sentence  continues,  ". .  .  as                                                               
required by  AS 47.24. She  explained that AS 47.24  doesn't talk                                                               
about  disabled  persons and  elderly  adults;  instead it  talks                                                               
about  "vulnerable  adults," which  it  defines  as both  elderly                                                               
persons and disabled adults.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  then asked if section  4, page 2, lines  14 -                                                               
17, was a name change only.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
9:22:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KURTZ affirmed that it was.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN said  the reference in section 3 on  page 2, line                                                               
6, refers to  licensed professional counselors, and  says that "a                                                               
person  licensed under  this chapter  shall  report incidents  of                                                               
harm  or  assault  suffered  by an  elderly  person  or  disabled                                                               
adult." SB 61 would change that phrase to "vulnerable adult."                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked why the wording is being changed.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ  replied, to  be consistent  with the  statute referred                                                               
to, AS 47.24, which contains the term "vulnerable adult."                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
9:24:03 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  PASKVAN stated  that under  AS 47.24.010(a)  there is  a                                                               
reference   to  persons   who,  in   the  performance   of  their                                                               
professional  duties, have  reasonable  cause to  believe that  a                                                               
"vulnerable  adult"   suffers  from   abandonment,  exploitation,                                                               
abuse, neglect,  or self-neglect. The statute  says these persons                                                               
shall, within  24 hours, report  the belief to the  department of                                                               
central information service for vulnerable adults.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ stated  that the term "vulnerable adult"  is defined in                                                               
AS 47.24.900(16).  The change is  to make the  wording consistent                                                               
throughout the statutes. The Legal  Services Agency can pull this                                                               
section out if there is a policy question.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI  replied that  he  had  no problem;  he  just                                                               
wanted to make sure there was not a policy question.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL said she would  advocate for the term "vulnerable                                                               
adult" because it is the contemporary term of use.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
9:26:33 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if this  change was  actually expanding                                                               
the definition.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ  responded that  the definition  was expanded  in 1994,                                                               
when the  terminology changed, but  this section was  not updated                                                               
at that time.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  stated that right  now, if a  licensed social                                                               
worker  witnessed harm  or assault  on a  vulnerable adult,  they                                                               
would not  be required  to report  that. So  it is  a substantive                                                               
change, but probably a good one.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR GIESSEL said  this is not a substantive  change. That was                                                               
made in the definition. This is simply correcting an oversight.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
9:27:45 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  KURTZ responded  that  the required  reports  referred to  a                                                               
vulnerable adult.  The distinction  is which statute  imposes the                                                               
duty.   The   term   "vulnerable   adult"  is   defined   in   AS                                                               
47.24.900(16). It  means a person  18 years  of age or  older who                                                               
because of  physical or mental  impairment is unable to  meet the                                                               
person's own  needs or  to seek  help without  assistance. Again,                                                               
the change is to make the  usage consistent. However, if there is                                                               
a policy  question, the Legal  Services Agency would be  happy to                                                               
take out that change.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR PASKVAN asked if a  licensed professional counselor falls                                                               
within  the   classification  of   other  licensed   health  care                                                               
providers.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ responded that was open to interpretation.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
9:30:11 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked if the change  on page 4 is referring to                                                               
federal courts.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
KURTZ answered that it refers to state courts only.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  why "mathematics"  is used  on page  4                                                               
instead of "math."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ said it was done to be consistent with other statutes.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  asked about  the change on  page 7,  line 13,                                                               
from AS 16.05.060 to 16.20.060.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS KURTZ said that was correcting an error.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI asked  if  on page  11, lines  19  - 20,  the                                                               
definition of school district was being changed.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ responded  that the former definition  was repealed, so                                                               
this definition needed to be added.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI asked what the section pertains to.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KURTZ replied  that  it refers  to  insurance tax  education                                                               
credit.  The  statute  says,  "A taxpayer  is  allowed  a  credit                                                               
against the  tax due  under AS 21.09.210  or 21.66.110"  for cash                                                               
contributions accepted  for direct instruction, research,  and so                                                               
forth.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  WIELECHOWSKI   noted  this  was  the   bill  that  allowed                                                               
companies and organizations to contribute to schools.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ replied that the statute was amended in 2010.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
9:35:12 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR MEYER asked  if the statute referenced  a school district                                                               
that didn't exist.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ answered that it did  exist when the statute was added,                                                               
but was  subsequently repealed. This  change makes it  easier for                                                               
people to find the reference.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI  asked if Ms.  Kurtz could explain  the change                                                               
on page 20, line 4.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  KURTZ  responded that  was  another  one where  the  federal                                                               
statutes have been  revised. When this law was  first enacted, it                                                               
referred to  the interstate  commerce act.  That federal  act has                                                               
been  revised  and spread  out  in  many places;  therefore,  the                                                               
reference cannot be  updated. For that reason, going  back to the                                                               
short title was the most minimal change possible.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
9:37:16 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR WIELECHOWSKI noted there was a  letter of support for SB 61                                                               
from the Department of Law, and  a zero fiscal note. He announced                                                               
he would hold SB 61 in committee.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR MEYER asked how the revision process works.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS. KURTZ said that every  year the Legal Services Agency assigns                                                               
attorneys to read various titles,  so every title gets read every                                                               
few years. The attorneys note  any changes that are needed. Legal                                                               
Services also receives suggestions from the Department of Law.                                                                  

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